WALKERS are being urged to sign up for this year’s Walk for Wards in aid of Salisbury District Hospital’s Stars Appeal. The fundraiser, which takes place at Wilton House on June 22, was launched by the charity’s president Lord Pembroke on Tuesday.

Last year’s event attracted 1,500 entrants who took part in either a 10k walk or a 3k stroll around the estate.

Their efforts helped raise almost £80,000 for the charity, with many choosing to give their sponsorship money to the CT Scanner Campaign, and others donating to other hospital departments, including the children’s ward and the burns unit.

Ian and Rose Adlem, who live in Broad Chalke, have taken part in the event for the last four years for the Pembroke cancer unit. Mr Adlem, 70, had bowel cancer seven years ago and underwent treatment at the hospital.

Mrs Adlem, 71, said: “He came through it brilliantly. We think they are wonderful; absolutely fantastic. We could never, ever in all our lives thank them enough for what they have done.

“I don’t think anyone could do any better than to take part,” she added. “I think people are in agreement that the hospital is a good cause and it is raising money for our own.”

The couple’s daughter, Sarah, 43, will this year be walking in their place, as they are unable to take part. Louise Padfield, 27, is taking part along with her partner Owen Bennett, 33, and their nine-month-old son Frederick to say thank you to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Following complications during labour, Frederick had to be taken to Southampton General Hospital while Miss Padfield underwent surgery in Salisbury.

Frederick was then moved back to Salisbury a week later and Miss Padfield and Mr Bennett were able to stay in the hospital’s accommodation block near the special care unit, which was funded by the Stars Appeal.

“He was very, very poorly” said Miss Padfield. “Thank goodness we were in the right hands. “The Stars Appeal has helped predominantly our son but also me and my partner. The generosity and pure kindness of people who raise money for the Stars Appeal helped build the accommodation for me to stay next to my baby.”

Since Frederick was born, Miss Padfield and her partner have donated hundreds of pounds to the Stars Appeal and Southampton General Hospital, by doing Walk for Wards last year and donating money from birthdays and Christmas.

To register for the walk visit starsappeal.org and click on events or call the Stars Appeal office on 01722 429005 for a registration form.